Bilirubin in urine

Information on the urine bilirubin test: when it is positive, when there are false positives, the causes, its normal values ​​and symptoms.

As we explained in a previous article, in which we answered the question what is bilirubin, it is characterized by being a yellowish pigment found in bile (a liquid produced and secreted by the liver, and stored in the gallbladder, the aids in the digestion and breakdown of fats into fatty acids).

The blood bilirubin test is carried out mainly to know the blood bilirubin values, so that when there is a high value, the most common is that a condition known as jaundice appears (yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes and/or eyes), as well as being an indicator of liver or gallbladder malfunction.

Since it is a useful parameter to know if there may be liver or gallbladder problems, the most common thing is that it is routinely included in the blood test that we usually perform from time to time.

In addition to the blood bilirubin test, the urine bilirubin test is also carried out, which we are talking about on this occasion.

What does bilirubin consist of?

We could define bilirubin as a product of our body when aged red blood cells break down. It is, therefore, a completely normal and perfectly healthy process.

After these aged red blood cells break down, they tend to circulate through the blood to the liver, where they are eliminated through the bile ducts and stored in the gallbladder. The bilirubin is then released into the small intestine as bile in order to digest fats. And, finally, it is eliminated through the feces.

What is the bilirubin urine test?

As its name suggests, the urine bilirubin test allows you to analyze and discover if there are bilirubin pigments in this natural waste fluid of the body, so that the most normal thing is that no bilirubin pigments are found in it. That is, bilirubin is not normally found in the urine.

It is normal for your doctor to tell you to stop taking any drugs or medications, as they can affect the test. The most common are: diuretics, steroids, sulfonamides, birth control pills, barbiturates, allopurinol, chlorpromazine, indomethacin, ascorbic acid, and phenazopyridine.

What is the bilirubin urine test used for?

As we indicated before, it is a recommended analysis that is carried out routinely when we carry out a general blood and urine analysis.

Considering that bilirubin is not normally found in the urine, there is no doubt that a finding of this pigment in the urine is indicative of liver or gallbladder disease.

How is the analysis carried out?

Testing for bilirubin in urine is very simple. In fact, the most common thing is that this parameter is analyzed at the time of carrying out the study of other urine parameters, when we carry out a urine and blood test.

It is enough to urinate into a container, discarding the first part of the urine and the last part. Later, this urine will be analyzed with a reagent strip in the laboratory, which will offer an approximate result.

Positive urine bilirubin

Since the presence of bilirubin in the urine is not normal, when it is found it can be indicative of different disorders and diseases, such as:

  • Liver diseases: fatty liver, hepatitis, liver disease, cirrhosis and liver tumors.
  • Gallbladder diseases: Bile duct disease, bile duct stones, gallbladder tumors, or bile duct obstruction.
  • Diseases of the pancreas:  as for example is the case of pancreatitis.

Bilirubin in urine with false positive

However, we must bear in mind that bilirubin can sometimes be found in the urine without there being any pathology. In these cases it is a completely casual and non-specific finding, especially when there is no symptomatology related to any other disease that causes this presence.

In fact, when there is no associated pathology, it is most often due to dehydration or when the person has spent many hours without drinking liquids.

Therefore, when bilirubin is found in the urine, the most common thing is for this test to be repeated, to assess whether it was a casual and effectively non-specific positive.

How to lower bilirubin in urine?

When the doctor finds bilirubin in the urine, it is usual for the doctor to indicate a new test in approximately 3 months, and if it is found again, he will prescribe other routine tests.

Therefore, high bilirubin in the urine can only be eliminated and reduced when the cause that caused its appearance in this waste liquid is identified.

However, it is advisable to follow the health advice that we recommend below:

  • Avoid alcohol consumption, one of the biggest enemies of the liver.
  • Follow a healthy and healthy diet, eliminating or reducing the consumption of sausages, red and white meats, processed foods, fried foods, dairy products and derivatives.
  • Opt for liver tonics like dandelion, artichoke, milk thistle, overlain, and wild yam.
  • Drink between 1.5 to 2 liters of water every day. Also opt for infusions, teas and tisanes.


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